Orihuela revives an old ritual for the arrival of her new bishop
TRADITION demands that JosÃ© Ignacio Munilla, the new bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, enter Orihuela on a white donkey.
Munilla will enter the city on February 12 in a custom that dates back to 1605 after having lunch at Arroz y Costra (Rice in Crust) in Cox and passing through Callosa and Redovan before visiting the San Anton Chapel.
Here, the new bishop will receive a white donkey and will cross the Palmeral palm forest to Orihuela via the Puerta de la Olma gate.
When arriving at the old entrance to the city, the mayor is required to ask: “Who is going there?” to which Munilla should respond: âThe Bishop of Orihuela.
He will then dismount, pray at the altar installed for the occasion and walk in procession to the cathedral.
According to diocesan sources, Munilla intends to complete the traditional ritual although the Cambiamos party demands that the town hall of Orihuela neither organize nor pay the costs.
âOrihuela is the host and will welcome the bishop,â said Fiestas councilor Mariola Rocamora. âIt couldn’t be otherwise. “
Meanwhile, the town hall is desperately looking for a white donkey, which some sources say is proving difficult. It won’t be cheap either, as the town hall paid â¬ 2,000 to hire the donkey that carried Munilla’s predecessor, Jesus Murgui, 10 years earlier.